Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Talk To Me Of Cameras

I've been blogging for years with media provided by my cell phone. The results have been hit and miss, at best :)

I do like how this one turned out, despite it being dark.

I know pretty much all of you out there have better media content than me, and I'm envious. I want to up my game.

My awesome photo from my last ride in the indoor. I can choose one: motion or less than ideal light. If there are both my pictures look like this.

What camera would you recommend a noob like me? I've been looking at point and shoot ones for a while now, and the specs and reviews are often contradictory and confusing. (Is it actually better than my phone, or no? Does reviewer grandma not understand USB cables or Bluetooth,  or is it really that hard to get the pictures off the camera? Your guess is as good as mine.) So, I haven't pulled the trigger on anything.

My cell phone makes my horses look so muddy! Oh. Wait.
Seriously tho, this is as good a picture as I can currently capture of a moving subject on a cloudy day. Unfortunately, the majority of our west coast days resemble this, and my horses do tend to move around! For every 10 pictures I take, there will be one barely usable one like this and the rest are garbage. It'd be nice to be able to take more usable pictures of my horses. Mud remover filter would be a bonus :)

Basically, I'd like something that can capture crisp images of a moving pony, preferably even in low light (for example, riding in the indoor, or outside on an average winter day here). Which reminds me, it needs to be somewhat sturdy to survive life on the raincoast with horses.

Nice quality video is great, but less of a need for me. I'm not fussed if I don't have a huge zoom or I can't record an entire lesson. Short video clips are fine with me.

So, fellow bloggers, what are you using?


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20 comments

  1. For shots in low light and crisp images, you're going to want something a bit beefier than most point and shoots. Something that gives you the ability to use a different lens or two with the ability to manually adjust your shutter speed (to get crisp images) and your F-stop (aperature opening to allow for more/less light to help you in low/bright light situations) sounds like what you're after. Beginner DLSRs can offer this at a pretty good price - especially with so many new models and mirrorless models coming out that people are flocking to instead of the older DSLRs.

    I'd read a few articles like this one: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-entry-level-dslr-camera and see which cameras are consistently recommended among the lists. As to picking which company? The best advice I ever received when I got my first DSLR was to select the one most of my friends had. It enabled me to borrow their lenses from time to time, which was a fun learning experience and saved me money!

    I originally bought a Nikon D60 and shot with it for 8 years before the shutter motor gave up on me. It's a relatively simple fix, but I decided that instead of putting the money toward that I'd finally upgrade to a nicer camera body and made the jump to a D750. Haven't regretted it one bit, though I do ponder still fixing the D60 sometime so my husband can have a camera of his own to play with!

    No matter what you end up with, I'm sure you'll love it!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this. I checked out your linked article and some related ones and I'm feeling a lot more confident about going the DSLR route. I had thought they were for people more 'serious' than me but I'm loving all the thoughts and happy reviews online from beginners like me :)

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    2. Oh they're super friendly for beginners! There is a full "auto" mode and a full "no flash auto" mode. When you give it to someone else to use, just say, "Look through the little hole, press the button halfway to focus and all the way to take the photo!" Then you can slowly teach yourself all of the little tricks to getting the most out of each manual mode over time - I'm completely self-taught and did it this way.

      If you go this route, I recommend getting a body that comes with 2 kit lenses. Then, over time, you can invest in some nicer lenses for the body. If you'd like any more quick/simple/dirty tricks/tips that have helped me over the years, please feel free to email me =) estout18 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    3. Thank you so much! <3

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    4. The sensors on even the point and shoot versions of DSLR cameras have gotten so good that that on auto you'll be able to get some pretty nice indoor pics. Though it will depend on your lens and lighting.

      Getting good with some editing software will help too. Then you can set your camera up with an arena monkey and tell them not to change anything, and you can fix minor problems later.

      Depending on what you want, you can end up spending thousands on cameras and bodies.

      I my opinion, video on DSLR cameras doesn't really compete with phone video. With a heavier setup find it much harder to take video steadily, and focus tracking is less intuitive. If you practice, I'm sure you'll get it though!

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  2. We have a DSLR that we take to shows and clinics and such, but for every day, I use my cell phone. My pictures are not as good as Liz's - she's a pro - but I think most of them look pretty good. A DSLR that can handle motion and low light is going to be big (to support a big sensor) and it's not convenient to use on a daily basis. The new iPhones have amazing cameras. It's really not convenient to me to be carrying around a huge camera when I'm riding and interacting with my horses on a daily basis. Being able to just pull my phone out of my pocket and get good shots is worth more to me.

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    1. My husband has a new iphone and the pictures are mostly gorgeous! I'm disappointed in them when conditions aren't ideal, though. I think realistically I will always be packing a cell phone for quick mid ride snaps, but I like the idea of having something nicer for the days I have a willing photographer on the ground or time to wander the farm and take pictures :)

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  3. I really like my Olympus Pen, it looks classic has a folding flash, interchangable lenses and easy settings for the last luster technician. :P

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    1. Awesome, thank you. One more for me to research. I'm so glad I asked and am so grateful for recommendations!

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  4. I don't know much, but I do know that successfully shooting motion in low light depends more on the lens than the camera body. That's where you will need to spend your money. Sure, the big, expensive pro bodies will make it easier, but if you put a cheap slow lens on it, don't expect miracles.
    Who do you expect to use this camera? I have lots of great horse pics from my DSLR, but none of me in the saddle because I don't have anyone who is comfortable using it!

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    1. Great point! My husband is usually my go to, so I'm needing something relatively simple to operate. I suspect his interest and proficiency will far outweigh mine in a very short time, but I don't want to assume!

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    2. I've found with my DSLR the easiest thing to do is set the basic settings for the conditions and just tell my husband (or mom, or whatever warm body I can find) to hold down the shutter -- over the years, he's gotten pretty decent at catching the right shot! I think everyone else pretty much covered anything else I had to add 🙂

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    3. LOL, my current method is to hand my husband my cell phone and tell him "just keep clicking", so he's pretty much already 'trained' ;)

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  5. honestly my strategy has just been to make friends with people with nice cameras haha..... ;)

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    1. An excellent strategy! I need to find some of those. I can imagine the conversation. "Hi, I'm T! Do you like horses? No? Maybe can still be friends! What kind of camera do you own?" ;)

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  6. I bought my "fancy" camera specifically for indoor riding pictures. Because priorities. ;) I ended up with a Nikon D3300 and bought an extra zoom lens (refurbished so it was cheaper). I know NOTHING about what any of the fancy letters and numbers surrounding such cameras and lenses mean, and Hubby knows even less, but this camera is idiot proof. It makes both of us look much more proficient than we are simply by using the auto setting. But it does have tons of manual settings if you wanted to be smart and figure out how to use them. I do not. The camera does everything for me!

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    1. LOL. Talking to my husband:
      "I'm thinking about getting a nice camera"
      Him: "I didn't know you were interested in photography?"
      Me: "Oh yes, always been interested..."*
      *in taking indoor riding pictures ;)
      Thank you for the review. I'm looking at the D3500, which I think is the same camera.

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  7. In an ideal world I'd have a soloshot or pixio!
    I recently came across an old Sony digital camera in my closet. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized how much more advanced the camera on my phone is! Whomp whomp :p

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    1. :D I did the same thing and 'found' an old digital camera we had only to realize my husbands iPhone is far better. On the plus side, there were some cute old pictures stored on there! The soloshot and pixio tech and reviews still worry me too much to take a chance on a potential expensive mistake (even our outdoor is surrounded by huge fir trees so GPS and cell service is intermittent, basically equivalent to riding in an indoor). I'm keeping my eye on them though, because in a perfect world having one would be amazing!

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  8. I am no help, I could buy a camera but I'd have no one able to man it (I guess that's what tripods and setting up automation are for)

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